September 6, 2018
How To Step Up Your Security

An Oklahoma skilled nursing facility lost $1k in a matter of minutes

The amount seems small, but its impact is huge

A few weeks ago, Artesian Home, a skilled nursing and long-term care facility in Oklahoma, was robbed of nearly $1,000 worth of drugs. The bandits stole a cache of costly narcotics including Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Xanax, Norco, morphine and more. Aſter the event, administrators acted swiſtly. Reexamining their current security plan, they resolved to implement a more aggressive approach to protecting residents in the future.

The fact is, while many facilities have protocol in place to thwart drug diversion and other internal threats, very few allocate resources toward external ones. In the case of the Artesian, criminals entered through a window. For many operators, the prospect is practically unthinkable. But in light of today’s prescription drug epidemic, burglaries are the new normal for SNFs, LTCs and pharmacies all across the United States

 

 

The Usual Suspects

With no persons of interest at the moment, Artesian administrators plan to seek help from the FBI. Security footage shows the intruders hopping through a window before beelining directly toward the key to the medicine cart. Such prompt movement suggests a staff member may be involved in some capacity.

Although local police are still actively working the case, the facility’s operators spoke publicly on the matter in the hopes they might help prevent similar break-ins throughout the skilled nursing community. The financial loss stings a little, but more importantly, residents (and their caregivers) deserve to feel safe in the place they call home.

Artesian takeaways

• There’s no need to install window bars or take other over-the-top security measures. Instead, focus on safeguarding the medications themselves. Experts say the cart should be kept in a room without outdoor access.
• Consider installing security cameras close to the location where narcotics are stored at night. This not only deters diversion activity, but may also help identify suspects if a crime does occur.
• Make it a point to store cart keys in a separate location, ideally in an administrator’s office or other secure area. The Artesian thieves targeted an aide’s room, which is where the keys were leſt unguarded.
• Spread the word among staff, be transparent about your suspicions, and ask your most trusted employees to keep an eye out for dubious behavior surrounding prescriptions and their dispensing.